The Death Penalty : A Controversial Issue Essay examples

916 Words Dec 7th, 2016 4 Pages
The topic of the death penalty has been considered a controversial issue for over two hundred years. Numerous public figures, world leaders, and renowned philosophers have made their opinions and theories known; yet, there is no universally accepted answer to whether or not capital punishment is morally and lawfully permissible. Despite hundreds of years of discrepancies, philosophers John Stuart Mill and Immanuel Kant seem to agree with many aspects of the death penalty. Through the documentation of their philosophical theories, Mill and Kant are able to express their beliefs and concerns to a broad audience; Mill using his notable address to British parliament, “In Favor of Capital Punishment” and Kant through his scholarly writing, The Right of Punishment and of Pardoning. Kant and Mill each provide reasonable and convincing arguments in regards to their position towards capital punishment. John Stuart Mill, an Utilitarian philosopher, is known for is consideration of higher order and lower order pleasures. His ranking of higher order and lower order also holds true when considering punishments. When considering the death penalty, Mill felt so strongly as to address the British Parliament with his speech, “In Favor of Capital Punishment.” In his 1868 speech, Mill argues that the greatest crimes can only be appropriately condemned by means of judicial execution. Mill is a firm believer that execution is the only way to properly condemn extremely radical crimes. In his…

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